By: Lily Morford, the New Scene Feature Reporter
With Valentine’s Day being the general theme for the month of February and the scent of red roses and chocolate candy lingering in the Northern Colorado air, we thought we’d present the top five places to take your honey on a date.
#1 Downtown Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park (Rural)
If you and your partner are into hiking, (and even if you’re not) you can take a quiet drive up to Rocky Mountain National Park through Estes Park and get up close and personal with nature and some of most beautiful scenery in the world. For just $20, you can spend the day at RMNP and take a hike, short or long, effortless or challenging, and see stunning views — gorgeous glass-covered lakes, breathtaking snow-covered summits, wildlife, and the interesting red rock for which our state is named after. The park is open 365 days a year. If you plan on going back more than a couple of times, an $80annual pass might be worth your troubles.
After you’ve worked up an appetite up in the mountains, drive back down to downtown Estes Park, park your car, and stroll down stone streets to the nearest brewery, pizza joint, fudge or taffy shop. Everything is within reasonable walking distance and the sunsets seen from Estes are one of a kind. If you’re lucky, you might even catch a parade or a concert at the Performance Park amphitheater.
#2 Never Summer Nordic Yurts (2 hours West of Fort Collins)
If you’ve got a long weekend coming up, or just want to get away from the distractions of everyday life, give glamping a try with Never Summer Nordic and experience one of their romantic yurts, huts or cabins — complete with all of the basic necessities, nestled in the Colorado State Forest. While you’re there, take an adventure by foot while hiking, cross country skiing, or snowshoeing. If you’d rather sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride, see the sights from horseback or a snowmobile. For those adrenaline junky and on-the-go couples, Never Summer Nordic also offers mountaineering, fishing, moose-watching, hunting and mountain biking.
#3 The Bent Fork Grill (Loveland)
The Bent Fork in the Promenade Shops at Centerra in Loveland is a dimly lit, cozy little restaurant, complete with a variety of vegetarian and gluten-free options for lunch or dinner and an array of savory desserts that are sure to hit your sweet spot. They always have specials that aren’t necessarily listed on the menu, so every trip you make here can be a different and surprising one. After dinner, (or lunch) walk outside and enjoy some ice skating or grab some homemade gelato or coffee at Paciugo Italian Gelato & Caffé.
#4 WeldWerks Brewing (Greeley)
Can’t find a sitter for date night? No problem! WeldWerks Brewing Co., 508 8th Ave., in Greeley is proud to be a family friendly establishment —and dog friendly too. Indulge in one of their unique, locally-brewed draft beers such as Fruity Bit Grapefruit, Coffee Maple Achromatic or Cinnamon Dolce Latte Stout. Don’t wait too long to try one — the beer list is updated every day. On Wednesdays, test your luck at bingo and Thursdays through Saturdays grab some grub from a food truck on the patio. Don’t worry about the little ones going thirsty, WeldWerks offers plenty of kid-friendly beverages.
#5 The Farmhouse at Jessup Farm (Fort Collins)
Treat yourself (and your date) to a made-from-scratch, locally sourced meal at The Farmhouse at Jessup Farm, 1957 Jessup Drive, in Fort Collins. Situated in a 133-year-old building, the farmhouse prides itself on outstanding customer service and a carefully thought-out, seasonal country menu. Be sure to catch brunch on Saturdays and Sundays and feel free to make a reservation for lunch or dinner any day of the week. When you’re finished with brunch, slow down, get a great view of the mountains, and “sit and sip” a hot drink at Bindle Coffee’s bonfire and indoor/outdoor coffee shop.